Who should decide what you can and cannot own?
Guns, body armor, property, even food… This question, old as mankind itself, has resulted in the creation of more governments than many would imagine. On one hand, you have those who believe a single person is capable of making decisions for millions of people, without question. On the other hand, you have those who believe nobody deserves to make decisions on behalf of others, and that each individual or community should be allowed complete autonomy. Most peoples’ personal beliefs tend to fall somewhere in between.
So… is one particular system correct?
Look at it this way: The United States was the first nation ever to provide a codified constitution to limit the powers of government - and that Constitution remains the world's longest surviving written charter of government to this day. That Constitution is only 236 years old - a small blip in time compared to how long governments have existed.
It may look old… but as far as governments go, it’s practically a baby.
Of course, other systems of government have survived much longer, even thousands of years; albeit they were drastically different from most modern systems and societies today, and generally did not favor individual rights. These systems usually survived as long as they did due to strong military might, intelligent and cunning leadership, careful control of social legislation, and superior manipulation of public perception. Population sizes drastically influenced how these types of governments succeeded or failed as well.
Does such lengthy survival mean these governments were superior? Well, that largely depends on how much freedom you think “regular” people deserve. Generally speaking, a strong military-backed government can remain in power for an extensive period of time with ease, if they do not provide their people with any alternatives.. In the United States’ case, you have a historically unique example of a strong military coupled with generous amounts of personal freedom.
And yes, guns or other weapons being in the hands of common citizens has always influenced a nation’s overall trajectory in time, as well as the leadership’s ability to control. On the flip side, weapons being exclusively in the hands of the government and military have had an equally sizable impact - just in different ways, of course.
If the United States is all about personal freedom, how do you keep it safe when it feels so… unsafe these days?
Some people are absolutely convinced the answer to this question is to “remove all the guns.” Some people respond with the exact opposite. Many respond with something in-between.
See, that’s the trick - as much as every political “expert” and their dog believes they have everything figured out for this country, we as a nation tread new water every single day. Nobody has done what we've done, as long as we have done it. Who is to really say what’s right and what’s wrong for our nation now? And who is to say those in charge 50 years from now can be trusted with the same power?
You likely see how tricky things get; and why many believe clinging to the original principles of the Constitution to be the best tactic for remaining free and secure as a nation - including, of course, our Second Amendment. As the saying goes, you can vote your way into communism (or any power-hungry dictatorship), but you have to shoot your way out.
But that’s the problem we seem to face today, right? We speak of the security of a free nation, but do you believe we are truly secure? Safe? If a different mass shooting pops up on the news every other day, how can you be sure the next one won’t strike in your own town?
You can’t be.
Freedom of choice is a great thing - until it isn’t.
Most would agree that the U.S. is continuing to degrade further into division, immorality, hatred, selfishness, and virtually every other bad thing. John Adams famously wrote that the “constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” It is worth noting that Adams was not referring to “religion” as organized religion, per se (not to say it is right or wrong), but as respect for something sacred in one’s life - in other words, actually standing for something. Everybody loves to virtue signal their hearts out on Twitter these days, but it is all too easy to wipe away that superficial top layer and see how most people really do not stand for much, or hold anything to themselves as sacred - and that’s a big problem. When nothing is sacred, there’s nothing to lose.
And so, here is the wrench that enables bad people to do bad things - the “right to feel safe” is not a constitutional right. You do not get to infringe on someone else’s freedom due to your feelings of insecurity.
You know what IS a constitutional right? The right to carry a firearm.
Feeling safe is a state of mind, a perception; one that is solidified by ensuring you have the necessary means to BE safe. The Founding Fathers did not guarantee your right to feel safe, because they chose to provide We the People with more agency than most other governments ever have. And as I’ve said before, the only way to remove the harmful effects of agency, is to remove agency itself. As people today stand for less and less, they are more and more willing to infringe on the agency of others in the name of selfishness, evil, and greed. Hence, the root of the problem - and why being prepared is so essential. Evil is not going away - and it sure as hell isn’t going to be legislated away.
…and it’s why body armor companies like us must exist. Dangerous freedom, or peaceful slavery. You must choose one, or the other. In a world of imperfection, greed and selfishness, you can never have the best of both. If you somehow achieve it, history has consistently proven that it will be temporary.
Let’s make one thing clear, though - There are over half a billion registered firearms in the United States today. “Getting rid of the guns” is never going to happen, no matter how much legislation passes. Same goes for “getting guns out of the hands of the bad guys.” Remember, if guns themselves were the problem, given the amount of them, it’s amazing to me that anyone is even alive today. More on this shortly.
Oh - and that’s only registered firearms, for the record.
What does “We the People” mean to you?
This problem of selfishness, evil, and greed is certainly not a new one - guns have been plentifully available in this country since its birth, but “mass shootings” haven’t been the constant news headline for 250 years. As the population increases, the number of problems proportionally increases, making those problems easier to catch and publicize - something a government eager to transfer more power to themselves will most certainly capitalize on. Given this state of things, are “we the people'' trustworthy enough to make our own decisions?
Believe it or not, this is actually why America was not formed into a pure democracy. The Founding Fathers were not interested in one.
What did “We the People” truly mean?
And who could blame them? What good would “pure democracy” do in today’s political climate where every election is 51/49 or 49/51? Even if the numbers weren’t that close, pure democracy is generally harmful to any government over a large population. If it comes down to the voice of the masses, you're going to have politicians come to power who stand for nothing and only work to appeal to the frenzy of the masses; something you may notice becoming more and more commonplace in government today (yes - on both sides).
Remember that, next time you see people in the streets chanting “this is what democracy looks like!”
Do you believe the voice of the people can be trusted and relied upon?
The Founding Fathers largely did not trust the masses with executive decisions - simple as that. Many of them did not believe poor people should vote. Some didn’t believe women should vote. A few believed only a specific class of predominantly wealthy and educated people should vote. This was considered less in a tone of exclusion to the common folk, and more in the tone of letting people who understand government make government decisions - similar to how you
would probably not represent yourself in a major lawsuit, but let a lawyer with experience do so. Right or wrong, I won’t say - that’s just how it was.
And with how easily “frenzied” and manipulated the American public tends to allow itself to be… sometimes it’s hard to blame them. Granted, all of that does not even remotely justify giving additional power to the system we’ve got today: a system that is the direct result of us voting for the “lesser of two evils” election after election.
But let’s touch on something equally important. You know what right the Founding Fathers didn’t want anyone excluded from? You guessed it - gun ownership. They understood that an armed society is a safe society… and a free society.
Look at the big picture: who do YOU ultimately trust?
People often suck - I think the pessimist in all of us can agree. But I think most can also agree that politicians tend to suck more. Do you believe some terrible person’s choices should affect your ability to protect yourself, your family, your property, or your freedom? Hopefully, the answer is a resounding HELL no. One evil act should not restrict the rights of those with no intention to do evil. We do not create laws based on personal premonitions, or a desire to somehow “purge” evil from the world. Yet, many politicians aim to do just that.
So… where’s the line? Is there a compromise where you can have MOST of your rights, but give up a few in order to save more lives? What about Red Flag Laws or Gun-Free Zones, or extensive background checks? Shouldn’t there be something put in place to prevent crime from happening?
We all know how well these signs work, right?
The answer is yes, there should be something in place - but it shouldn’t involve gun restrictions. When you choose to go after guns, you choose to ignore root issues. Simple as that. Let’s look at some examples:
Felons and Gun Ownership - If you cannot trust someone to not be violent, why did you let them out in the first place? Restricted access to legally-purchased guns has not shown any significant decrease in violent crime. Root issue: A broken criminal reformation/justice system.
Mental Illness and Red Flag Laws - How exactly are we deeming who is mentally stable enough to own a gun? Do I get to decide my neighbor is mentally unstable because I know he owns body armor? Should he lose his right to protect himself because I don’t think he’s fit to own a gun? Root issue: Inconsistent and inadequate access to mental health services, and a society that believes “guilty until proven innocent according to my feelings” is somehow okay.
You get the idea.
The issue is people, not guns. Always has been. Always will be. If you are going to remove guns, but entirely ignore the rampant issues of mental health, immorality, shitty parenting, or the plethora of systematically corrupt structures and systems that comprise our modern world, do you seriously think you’re going to gain anything more from confiscating guns than a weaker nation? Guns are not going anywhere. They are always going to be a part of this country. The only say you and I have in this is how many guns the common people have, versus how many guns the police, military, and federal government have.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956
Gun control has NEVER been about saving lives. If the government cared about saving lives, they would be openly addressing much larger issues - issues that take extremely large amounts of people’s lives every year compared to guns.
Ask yourself this: is the government more trustworthy than the everyday citizen? Why would you believe that they deserve to own and use firearms, but your neighbor does not? Why is it “outlandish” to post armed guards at every public school, but not for every politician, celebrity, and rich person to have armed escorts while telling you guns are inherently evil? See, no one is ever truly “against'' guns. They are against people, and they are against equality. You either believe the common citizen deserves to own firearms, or you believe the government does. You either believe in equality, or you believe some people are superior to others due to class, position, or privilege.
And remember, your belief must be eternal - if you believe the government is trustworthy enough now, you must also believe they will continue to be trustworthy in 10, 20, 50, or 100 years. Do you have that much faith in your government? Enough that “giving them an inch” now will not result in them taking a mile from your children, or your children’s children? Do you have that much unquestionable faith in the future of a country that is paving ground in individual freedom every day?
Trust can be an extremely valuable - or deadly - asset. Use it wisely.
Evil finds a way. It always has, and always will. You will NEVER legislate evil out of existence, you can only choose to be prepared for anything, and be kind to all. There is NO other way to turn our country around. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself this: when was the last time you were insulted or ridiculed into change?
If you want to see change, be the change yourself. Stop waiting for other people to do it, because they probably won’t. Stop concerning yourself over what your neighbor deserves to own or not, and go invite them to a barbeque, or bring them cookies, or pull in their trash cans.
You and I would be amazed at the outcome if we turned our anger away from that which the ruling class has conditioned us to normalize, and rerouted that energy into everyday kindness. And maybe a little extra anger towards the system.
Be kind. Be armed. That is all.